No question that the marquee matchup in the NHL on Thursday night is a game between not just the East’s two best teams but also it’s two hottest as Tampa Bay Lightning visits Boston Bruins in what could be an Eastern Conference semifinals preview. The dominant Lightning is rarely NHL lines underdogs this season. Are they Thursday? Read on.
Lightning vs Bruins NHL Spread & Prediction
Heddy’s goal?It gets the @easportsnhl treatment! #TBLvsNYR pic.twitter.com/3sjWGRE17F — Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) 28 de febrero de 2019
- When: Thursday, 7:30 PM ET
- Where: TD Garden
- TV: NBC Sports Network
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Spread: Boston Bruins -120 (Total 5.5)
Season SeriesOnly the second of four meetings and the rivals haven’t played since back on Dec. 6 – odd scheduling. In that one, Tampa won 3-2 at home. After Mathieu Joseph scored at 2:40, Anthony Cirelli put home a short-handed backhand 1:23 later to make it 3-1. Brayden Point also scored and Louis Domingue made 33 saves for the Lightning.
Boston pulled to 3-2 on David Krejci’s goal with 1:45 remaining. David Pastrnak had a goal for Boston, and Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots. The Bolts were rolling back then and the Bruins were struggling and without key injured players in center Patrice Bergeron and defensemen Zdeno Chara.
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?The back end of a back-to-back for Bolts as they took a nine-game winning streak into Wednesday’s matchup at the Rangers. The Bolts were quiet at Monday’s trade deadline because they literally didn’t need to add anyone. They are that good. The Lightning leads the NHL in any number of categories, including goals per game (3.84), power play (29.7 percent) and penalty kill (85.7 percent).
Tampa became the 4th team in NHL history to reach the 100-point mark in 63 games or less, joining the 1971-72 Bruins, 1976-77 Canadiens, and 1977-78 Canadiens. Each of the previous 3 teams went on to win the Stanley Cup.
As of Wednesday, Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL this season with 101 points (30-71–101). Since the start of the 2015-16 season, Kucherov has scored 139 goals, trailing only Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane.
With No. 1 Andrei Vasilevskiy in net Wednesday, it should be backup Louis Domingue here. He last played on Feb. 19 and allowed two goals on 30 shots in a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Domingue had a relatively easy night with the Lightning jumping out to a 3-0 lead just over the midway part of the opening period. Tampa’s backup netminder was only beat by an Oskar Lindblom tip to open the final frame and Travis Konecny on an odd-man rush. Domingue’s record improved to 19-4-0 with a 2.86 goals-against-average and a .908 save percentage.
Vasilevskiy and Domingue are the second goaltender tandem in NHL history to each own simultaneous win streaks of 7+ games and first since Bob Froese and Pelle Lindbergh on Jan. 29, 1983.
- Goals: 3.94
- Shots: 32.31
- PP/PK Percentage: 29.86
- Goals: 2.64
- Shots: 32.12
- PP/PK Percentage: 13.88
Why Bet on Boston?The Bruins were 4-1 home winners vs. San Jose on Tuesday. The Bruins, who had won seven straight before a 2-1 shootout loss at St. Louis on Saturday, broke the game open in the second, scoring three times and just missing on several more opportunities during a flurry late in the period. Boston held San Jose to just four shots in the period.
Marcus Johansson, traded to Boston from New Jersey on Monday, picked up an assist in his Bruins debut on Tuesday night. Johansson had the second helper on a goal by Jake DeBrusk in the second period. He finished the match with two shots, one hit and two blocks in 14:49 of ice time. Johansson also got 2:27 of playing time on the power play.
DeBrusk scored his 20th goal of the season. He has been hot of late with six goals and 11 points in the past seven games. This is the first time that DeBrusk has reached the 20-goal plateau at the NHL level. He has 30 points through 54 matches. David Krejci had one goal and one assist. Krejci scored a power-play goal in the first period for his 15th marker of the year. He set up a goal by DeBrusk in the second stanza. Krejci has generated five goals and 15 points in the last 12 contests. He is up to 55 points in 63 appearances this season.
Jaroslav Halak allowed one goal on 20 shots. That’s now three straight wins for Halak, improving his record to 17-9-4 with a 2.29 goals-against-average and a .924 save percentage. However, it likely will be Tuukka Rask for this one. He had a six-game winning streak snapped Saturday in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Blues and is 20-8-5 with a 2.40 GAA and .920 SV.
- Goals: 3.00
- Shots: 32.59
- PP/PK Percentage: 26.37
- Goals: 2.54
- Shots: 30.48
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.25
Lightning vs Bruins NHL Betting Trends
- Favorite is 25-11 in the last 36 meetings
- Under is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings in Boston
- Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Boston
- Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Tampa Bay’s last 9 games on the road
- Boston is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
- Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston’s last 6 games at home